Sheriff’s Department: 1 Deputy Killed, 1 Injured in Rancho Cordova

Man Arrested in Child Death Investigation

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SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento County sheriff's detectives arrested a man late last week in connection to the death of a toddler.

According to the charges, 29-year-old Frederic McDonald had "care and custody" of 2-year-old Gabby Doe when she died. Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how she died, but they believe McDonald is responsible.

"It's anger. There [is] a lot of anger, and it's trying to control that anger. We need to find the facts out before we make any judgement," said Gabby's grandfather, Daniel Gold.

Gabby's paternal grandparents were in court Tuesday as McDonald was arraigned.

"We didn't know him. He's the mother's boyfriend," said Nona Boyd, Gabby Doe's grandmother.

A check of Frederic McDonald's Facebook page suggests that he was in a relationship with Gabby's mother. And detectives say they were living together on Nov. 20 when there was a 911 call for an ambulance to an apartment on San Juan Avenue in Sacramento County.

Sheriff's investigators were eventually called to the scene. They served a search warrant and found, they say, probable cause to arrest McDonald.

"We're still waiting on a determination from the pathology report," deputy district attorney Jeff Hightower said in court.

Tuesday's arraignment shocked some friends who have been reaching out to the child's mother on Facebook. They didn't want to speak out on camera, but say they'd been told Gabby passed away in her sleep.

While an exact cause of death hasn't been officially pronounced, McDonald will remain behind bars until at least late January, when he's due back in court.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department is asking anyone who has information that could help them in this ongoing investigation to please give them a call.